Carpet Beetle Control

On This Page

  • What's Eating My Clothing?
  • About Carpet Beetles
  • Carpet Beetle Control
  • Carpet Beetle Control: Heavy Infestations
  • Carpet Beetle Control: When they Infest Your Food
  • Wrap up


What's Eating My Clothing?

In Seattle, we have two kinds of pests that eat clothing, clothes moths and carpet beetles. The carpet beetle is the most common, and the most commonly overlooked. Information on Clothing Moths.


About Carpet Beetles

carpet-beetlesCarpet Beetle adults are about a third the size of a ladybug. They can be brown or black but often, they are multicolored, as in this, enlarged picture. The larvae are less than a quarter inch long and look like very small caterpillars. Carpet Beetles are extremely common in our area.

Most people who have damage to feathers, leather, wool, or other items made from animal based protein, such as wool carpets, horse hair blankets, wool sweaters or coats, etc... have Carpet Beetles.

Adult Carpet Beetles do not damage clothing. They are pollinators. When it comes time for the female to lay her eggs, she develops an aversion to light. She seeks a dark area near or on the larva's preferred food sources to lay her eggs.

In the wild, preferred food sources for the larvae include animal carcasses, shed animal skin, hair, or feathers, or a quantity of insect material, such as a dead wasp nest.

Inside the living area of your home they target areas under and behind baseboards, clothing driers, and the inside of heat ducts. These are the areas where human hair and pet hair tend to accumulate.

The also lay eggs inside dressers, back behind the shelves in your closets, and anywhere you store woolens. It could also be directly on a woolen item stored away in an area of very little light, such as a closet, chest of drawers, or other container.

They love furniture stuffed with horse hair - the eggs will be laid in crevices or underneath where the larvae can burrow inside. The undersides of wool rugs are also areas of big concern, as are animal hides or trophies.

Carpet Beetles, also referred to as Dermestid Beetles, can be a huge problem for museums, taxidermies, and furriers.

When she is done laying her eggs, the female beetle becomes attracted to the light, which is the reason you often find dead Carpet Beetles on window sills.


Carpet Beetle Control

On the inside of your home, Carpet Beetle control focuses on the areas where carpet beetles will lay their eggs and areas that they will have to cross to get to food. Prep guide for pest control service.

This involves treating:

  • The base of the walls
  • Under and behind baseboards - Using specialized equipment
  • The interior of dressers and their drawers
  • All closets where clothes or woolens are stored
  • Wool rugs and wool carpets
  • Anything stuffed with horse hair
  • Laundry rooms
  • Anywhere else that pet or human hair could accumulate

It may include the following if indicated:

  • Food storage areas if the pests have been noted in those areas.
  • Attic or sub area crawlspaces, if the home has experienced previous birds, rodent, or insect activity, or if the activity level is high.
  • We may recommend that furniture stuffed with horsehair, and items that may be damaged by conventional pest control measures - be fumigated and we can discuss each situation on a case by case basis.

On the exterior of your home, Carpet Beetle control focuses on the areas where carpet beetles may land prior to making there way into your home, such as around doors, windows, and vent openings.


Carpet Beetle Control: Heavy Infestations

If your home has lots of Carpet Beetles, there may be another pest problem in your home. Carpet Beetles will lay eggs on bird and rodent remains, and inside the nests of yellow jackets and other insects.

They will also nest in pet food in walls, sub areas, and attics, deposited in these areas by rodents.


Carpet Beetle Control: When they Infest Your Food

Carpet Beetles are an occasional food pest. They will sometimes infest food sources which are high in protein, including dog and cat food, some types of seasonings, powdered milk, and some types of powdered sauce mixes.

If you have these pests in your kitchen you will need to clear out the infested drawers or cupboards, toss any infested foods, and have us treat these areas.


Wrap up

It's possible that no amount of treatment may prevent you from seeing any carpet beetles.

Professional pest control measures can reduce the number of beetles and the possibility of carpet beetle damage.

The life cycle of a carpet beetle may take a year to complete. Dusts applied in sub areas and attics may last a year. Dusts under baseboards in dry areas of your home may help control carpet beetles even longer.

An ongoing service that includes treatment around doors, windows, and vents in the spring, summer, and fall, and an annual re-application of dusts in attics and sub areas can help control carpet beetles and other pests as well.

Storing expensive furs at a fur storage vault, and storing woolens in air tight containers with tight fitting lids can help prevent damage.

NOTE: Moth balls and aromatic cedar, or other moth prevention materials, placed in closets, unless the closet is absolutely sealed 'air-tight', will not help control carpet beetles or clothing moths.









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